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PERCEPTION OF PARENTS ON OVER-SCHOOLING OF CHILDREN AT THE PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION


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PERCEPTION OF PARENTS ON OVER-SCHOOLING OF CHILDREN AT THE PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION

ABSTRACT
Over-schooling at the pre-primary school is a serious violation of the provisions of National
Policy on Education. It is seen as over burdening, over tasking and over-tutoring of the preprimary
school children. The study was carried out to ascertain the perception of parents on overschooling
of these young children using Onitsha educational zone as the area of study. Five
research questions and two null hypotheses were formulated while a descriptive survey design
was employed. The population of the study was made up of 2,440 parents of young children who
attend private pre-primary schools in the Onitsha educational zone. Parents’ Perception on Overschooling
of Children Questionnaire (PPOCQ) was used for data collection. The questionnaire
was validated by three experts while the trial testing was done outside the area of study.
Cronbach alpha method was used to establish the internal consistency of the instrument. Data
collected were analysed using descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) and t-test
statistic was used to test the hypotheses formulated to guide this study. The findings of the
research showed that there was over-schooling at this level of education, but unfortunately the
parents were ignorant of its negative influences on the young children. The study recommended
among other things that parents should be part of the decision making body of the pre-primary
schools, that is, being part of the Parent-Teacher Association of the schools.
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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
The concept of a child differs from one culture to another. Some cultures regard one as a
child if one is not married, no matter one’s age. According to Opara (2012), a child is a young
person, especially between infancy and youth. In the Nigerian Legal system, a child is one that is
below the age of 18 years. This is because the person cannot vote or be voted for. He/she is not
also qualified to drive. This is in line with article 1 of the Convention on the Right of the Child
by United Nations. Furthermore, Umobi and Igu (2010) define a child as a boy or a girl at any
age between infancy and adolescence, a new infant, or a person of any age in relation to his
parents.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) in her National Policy on Education posits that
the pre-primary school child falls within the age bracket of 0-6 years while Maduewesi (1999)
views pre-primary school children as young children between 2-5 years engaged in specially
designed academic programmes before the age of formal schooling. It is necessary that all who
are involved in the education of the child understand and get acquinted with the pre-primary
school child.
The pre-primary school children possess certain characteristics which are peculiar to
them. According to Abidoye and Agusiobo (2000), these pre-school children are egocentric. That
is, they view the world from their own perspectives. They are curious in nature. Their world is
filled with excitement. The curiosity varies according to the center of interest at any given time.
The children love exploration and in fact, they are investigators. Their love for exploration is
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demonstrated in their spoiling of new toys and trying to put them together again. Abidoye and
Agusiobi(2000) see the children as being energetic and because of this, they cannot sit still for
long periods of time. They prefer to do things than listen. Even while listening, they move their
bodies restlessly. These pre-school children like to achieve their objectives. They often spend
unusual length of time and efforts to solve problems that interest them. Problem solved gives
them a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Hence, they are persistent.
More interestingly, children are valuable assets from God.
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